His scheme was discovered when he had to miss work one day and his colleagues received an 800-pound delivery of fajitas.

Hallie Detrick
April 24, 2018

A man who admitted to stealing $1.2 million in fajitas over a nine-year period has been sentenced to 50 years in jail.

Gilberto Escaramilla was an employee at the Cameron County, Texas Juvenile Justice Department when the thefts took place. He placed orders for the fajitas through the juvenile detention center where he worked, but intercepted the orders and sold the goods on to his own customers.

His scheme was discovered when he had to miss work one day and his colleagues received an 800-pound delivery of fajitas. This perhaps wouldn’t have been unusual—if the kitchen at the detention center served fajitas.

While testifying Escamilla reportedly said, “It was selfish. It started small and got bigger and out of control. It got to the point where I couldn’t control it anymore.”

The Cameron County Assistant District Attorney Peter Gilman asked the judge to give 53-year-old Escaramilla a 50-year sentence to send the message that theft by public servants is a serious matter.

When Escaramilla was arrested last year, District Attorney Luis V Saenz said, “If it wasn’t so serious, you’d think it was a Saturday Night Live skit. But this is the real thing.”

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